Though much of the excitement surrounding the upcoming International Energy Conference 2022 has to do with Guyana’s oil prospects, President Irfaan Ali believes it is an excellent opportunity to showcase just what the country has to offer.
Against that backdrop, the Head-of-State announced on Thursday that the Umana Yana will be transformed into a unique ‘duty-free zone.’
“We have all these foreign dignitaries and guests, many of them have private jets, many of them will just have enough time to get on a flight here and then go back…these are sophisticated investors, every hour of their time is tremendously valued so I asked, how do we keep Guyana close to the conference, and this is what we came up with,” President Ali said.
For the duration of the conference, the government has partnered with the private sector and has already invited local suppliers and exhibitors who will be set up shop at Umana Yana.
“…from jewelry to rum to art and craft – every single thing, our indigenous people…and we are creating a shopping experience in a duty-free zone for all the foreign delegates coming in,” the President explained.
“Any little time they have here, we are going to bring them as close to the marketplace as we can,” he added.
The President noted that the conference has created much buzz across the world, evidenced by “constant calls” from diplomats and dignitaries who are unable to get flights or hotel rooms in time.
The International Energy Conference and Expo will be held from February 15 to 18, 2022, at the Guyana Marriot Hotel. Among the key speakers at the event is Barbados Prime Minister, Mia Amor Mottley.
Prime Minister Mottley will be joined by President Ali and Vice-President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo along with the Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo and President of Suriname, Chandrikapersad Santoki as the key speakers at the event.
The expected main outcomes from the Energy Conference include identifying business and investment opportunities, establishing a trade show that will run alongside the event, discussing local content and capacity buildings, and emphasising safety within the industry.
Discussions on this front will be led by a list of industry experts, including Annand Jagesar, Managing Director and Downstream Director at Suriname’s national oil company Staatsolie; Global Head – Responsible Business (Policy and Advocacy) at Shell International, Khathy Kuu; and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chairman of TOTALTEC Oilfield Services, Lars Mangal.